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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Conigland, Edward

by Margaret M. Hofmann, 1979

22 Apr. 1819–4 Dec. 1877

Edward Conigland, lawyer, teacher, writer, orator, and Catholic layman, was born in Ireland, the fifth son of Dr. Patrick and Margaret Brison Conigland. Following the death of Dr. Conigland, Margaret B. Conigland emigrated with her children in 1834 to New York, where Edward began his law studies.

In 1844, Conigland removed to Halifax County to teach school and continue his study of law. He obtained a license to practice law in the North Carolina courts in 1846 and established a law office in Halifax. He represented Halifax County in the constitutional convention of 1865, and in 1871, although suffering from defective hearing, he served as a defense counsel in the Governor W. W. Holden impeachment proceedings. He formed a law partnership with Robert O. Burton in 1875 in Halifax, where he practiced law until his death.

Conigland was a close personal friend of Father (later Cardinal) James Gibbons, Bishop Patrick N. Lynch of Charleston, S.C., and Father (later Bishop) Harry P. Northrop.

He was married three times: to Mary E. Tillery on 7 Feb. 1849 in Halifax County; to Mary Wyatt Ezell on 16 Apr. 1855 in Northampton County; and to Emily Long on 18 Sept. 1867, also in Northampton County.

Conigland was struck and killed by a train on the south edge of Halifax town and was buried in the Conigland family cemetery overlooking Quankey Creek at the family home, Glen Ivey, in Halifax.

His portrait hangs in the main hallway of the Halifax County courthouse.


W. C. Allen, History of Halifax County (1918).

Conigland family cemetery (Halifax).

Edward Conigland Papers (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

James Gibbons Papers (Archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Baltimore, Md.).

Halifax County Marriage Bond Book (Office of the Register of Deeds, Halifax County courthouse, Halifax).

P. N. Lynch Papers (Diocesan Archives, Diocese of Charleston, Charleston, S.C.).

Northampton County Index to Marriages (Office of the Register of Deeds, Northampton County courthouse, Jackson).

Raleigh Register, 6 Dec. 1877.

Additional Resources:

Conigland, Edward 1819-1877 in WorldCat:

Edward Conigland Papers, 1838-1921 (collection no. 00859). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.,Edward.html (accessed July 8, 2013).

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